Customers aren’t satisfied: Fewer than 35% say they’re happy with brands

First impression, ease of use are most important to customer satisfaction.

Despite marketers’ pandemic-driven focus on customer satisfaction, less than 35% of consumers are completely satisfied with their brand relationships, according to the 2022 Brand Relationship Design report from digital product, marketing and brand innovation firm R/GA.

This puts the number at a 17-year low, said R/GA. The survey asked some 13,500 U.S. consumers about their experiences with technology, financial services, retail and hospitality brands. It found six things that drove satisfaction: first impression, ease of use, reward, personalization, communication and community.

First impression and ease of use were the highest ranked of those attributes, with 83% saying they were important. The brands that scored highest on ease of use had a 20% higher satisfaction score than those that scored lowest.

Rewards aren’t rewarding. while 70% of shoppers feel valued as a customer, only financial services and tech categories show rewards as a positive driver of satisfaction and retention. This is because “most programs don’t connect rewards to the goal behind purchase, gamify for gamification’s sake, and largely involve discounts,” the report says. Only 32% strongly agree that they are rewarded with things that matter to them.

Failure to communicate. Just 41% of consumers said they can get questions answered when they have them.

Personalization is working, sort of. Some 62% said communication from the brand is personalized to their needs. However, ubiquity and growing concerns about privacy means it doesn’t drive satisfaction.

What community. Only one in five customers (21%) are a member of brand community initiatives and communities have little impact on satisfaction.

Why we care. When the pandemic hit, customer satisfaction became the No. 1 marketing focus. So what happened? We’re companies looking at the wrong drivers? Did they use the wrong programs? Whatever happened, it’s clear that a lot of money was spent to create a lot of sound and fury, ultimately signifying nothing.

The post Customers aren’t satisfied: Fewer than 35% say they’re happy with brands appeared first on MarTech.


About The Author

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.